The high acuity of patients receiving glucocorticoid (GC) therapy for acute graft vs host disease may limit their adherence to an exercise-based rehabilitation program, which can slow their recovery, say authors of an article published in Support Cancer Care.
To test their hypothesis, researchers reviewed the medical records of 59 patients who received a hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT) and who were receiving methylprednisolone (MP). They also measured patients' performance on the repeated sit-to-stand, 50-foot walk, and 6-minute walk tests before and after completing a 4-week progressive exercise rehabilitation program. Outcomes were compared by a paired t-test.
Thirty-two patients (54%) finished a treatment plan (adherent group), completing 80% of the prescribed sessions, and were reevaluated. Twenty-seven patients (46%) did not complete the rehabilitation program (nonadherent group), primarily because of readmission to the hospital (18 patients, 62%). The adherent group did not significantly improve their physical performance. However, a subgroup of 40% of these patients did experience clinically significant improvements in their physical performance.